Knowledge You Must Have Before Starting Your Custom Socks Business

Are you looking to start a custom socks business? Do you require guidance in turning your company profitable? You are at the right place. 

 A successful socks printing business requires a lot of planning, market understanding, and effort. 

 This post will give you comprehensive knowledge of sock printing and a socks printer. Before that, let us find out why custom socks are in demand.

custom socks

Why Shall You Start Socks Printing Business?

A lot of people start the socks printing business without realizing its potential. If you work on it strategically, you can make your profit manifolds. 

Instead of selling regular socks, you can customize them according to the demands of your customers. As custom products have a higher value than regular ones, you can sell them at more price.

 Custom socks have been in demand for a long time. They are fashionable and full of fun. Individuals also use them for advertisement and branding. 

 You can design socks keeping the personal preferences and styles of your customers in mind. If you want to customize socks for a special occasion, you can do so. 

Custom athletic socks, logo socks, baseball socks, and dress socks are popular in the market. 

 In the last decade, the demand for customized products has skyrocketed, and socks are no exception. 

Nowadays, everyone wants products in the design and color of their choice. Face socks are a perfect example of it. 

They are trending customized socks that give a sense of fun and personalization. These socks make the perfect present for friends and family. Consequently, several socks printing companies have begun offering this service.

 Custom sock printing is a low-investment and high-return business. 

The latest digital socks printer adopts print-on-demand technology.  As a result, you can print socks as needed. It ensures fast turnaround and also eliminates the issues like overprinting.  


Why Choose DTG Socks Printing Instead of Sublimation Printing?

Wondering how to print socks? It could be overwhelming to start a custom socks printing business. However, do you know what socks printer is appropriate for you?

When it comes to socks printing solutions, choices are endless. In the market, you can find socks printing machines of different sizes, types, and capacities. Not all fit your business.

Hence choose the printing technology wisely.

Some of the common sock printing solutions are as per below.

screen printing socks

Screen Printing

 Screen printing is a popular method used to make custom socks. A mesh or squeegee is used to transfer ink onto socks. First, you make a stencil on a mesh screen. After that, you push ink from that stencil to imprint the desired design onto the socks. 

 In the final stages, printed socks have to pass through a dryer. This process cures the ink and ensures a smooth finish. 

The best part about screen printing is that you can print on dark clothes also.

 However, the major issue with this printing option is that it has a higher initial setup cost. Furthermore, there is a color limitation in this printing method. 

People generally use 1 to 3 colors. Each color requires a screen mesh. And only one color is released at a time onto the cloth. If you use more colors, it will increase the overall printing price. 

  sublimation printed socks

Sublimation Printing

Sublimation printing is a well-known printing method people use to customize socks. 

It lets you print the desired pattern or design on sublimation paper and then transfer it onto the fabric using the heat press. 

 This printing method gives a smooth print. However, the printing material must be 100% polyester or have a higher percentage of polyester.

 Sublimation printing is a straightforward process. Unfortunately, the quality is a little low in comparison to DTG socks printing.

dtg printed socks

DTG Socks Printing

DTG (Direct-to-garment) socks printing is the most preferred printing method for socks. It offers high-quality prints as it utilizes aquatic inkjet technology.  

It is a quick and straightforward process that creates high-quality custom socks. Since it applies print directly onto the fabric, it provides vibrant colors and produces fine detail like a photograph.

 DTG socks printing has no limitation on colors. Therefore, individuals print accurate colors regardless of how complex their socks’ pattern is.

Another advantage of DTG socks printing is that it supports small-quantity printing. It allows you to print one sock per design.

So these are a few custom socks printing solutions. Let us get to know why DTG printing on socks is a better option than all the above printing solutions.


Why Choose DTG Printing?

Custom Printing Socks- Sublimation Socks VS DTG Socks (Breakdown)

360-Degree Spiral Printing

A DTG socks printer prints designs 360 degrees. It lets you stretch and place your socks onto the printer’s roller. On the contrary, if you choose sublimation printing, you will need socks with a flat surface.  


No Heat Press Lines

Another advantage of DTG socks printing is that your socks do not get heat press lines. It is a primary issue in sublimation printing. Since the DTG socks printer gives you 360-degree printing, your DTG socks do not get pressing lines.


No White Leakage

In DTG printing, you do not complain about white leakage on socks. Unlike sublimation printing, the DTG socks printer prints directly onto socks. 

Moreover, you stretch socks on the printer roller. Therefore, printing ink penetrates the inner layer of the cloth. 

 In sublimation printing, only the top layer of the socks is printed. Therefore, when you stretch socks, you notice white leakage.


Material Application

DTG sock printing allows printing on a wide range of socks materials. For example, you can print on cotton, polyester, nylon, bamboo, and wool socks. 

While sublimation printing can apply only on polyester or a higher percentage of polyester material.



DTG printing does not interfere with the original shape of the sock. As a result, socks retain their original shape. 

With sublimation printing, the sock becomes straight and flat. Also, the yarns get killed while passing. 


Soft and Sharpness

Both sublimation printing and DTG socs printing give a soft and smooth surface. However, when it comes to sharpness, sublimation printing has an upper edge. 

It allows printing the design on the sublimation paper first. After that, it is transferred to the socks. The paper comes into direct contact with socks. Therefore, sublimation printing gives bright colors. Even small alphabets are visible. 


Design Integrity

Design integrity is another aspect the DTG socks printing excels at. It offers 360-degree seamless printing making the design pattern more smooth. 

On the contrary, sublimation printing is two-step printing. Socks are pressed on both sides. Consequently, print is not even.


What are the Advantages of UniPrint Socks Printing Technology?


Higher Color Fidelity and Precision

UniPrint socks printer has a 4-color ink system(CMYK). People can also opt for an 8-color ink system. Usually, 8 colors ink is used for reactive cotton to achieve a better effect. The printer ensures higher color fidelity and precision. As a result, you can print designs and images of any color on your socks. You will get perfect color accuracy and balance.


Low MOQ order

UniPrint socks printing machine adopts print-on-demand technology. Therefore, you can keep MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) as low as you want. 

The UniPrint socks printer is compatible with small orders. It can print 1 design per sock. You do not need to worry about managing the inventory of designed socks. 

Just keep some white socks and print them as you get the order. It helps you prevent overspending and stock wastage. 


A Variety of Material Selections  

With the UniPrint socks printer, you can print socks of different materials. You can print on Cotton, Polyester, Bamboo, Nylon, Wool, and more.


Fast Delivery

UniPrint socks printer ensures quick turnaround. It can print about 500 pairs of socks per day. It means you can easily handle the bulk order. 


How to Choose the Right Socks Printing Machine for Your Business?

A printer is the primary equipment for the sock printing business. So choose it wisely.

 If you are looking for an advanced socks printing machine, the UniPrint spiral socks printer is an ideal investment. Spiral printing is the latest technology. It has high printing speed and supports high printing resolutions.

Let us learn about these advantages in detail.

Advantages of UniPrint Spiral Socks Printer

Adopts Different Printing Resolutions

The UniPrint spiral socks printer can adopt different print heads for various printing resolutions. 

For example, 4pcs 7610heads offer 360*2400dpi, 2pcs i1600 heads give 600*1200dpi and 2pcs i3200 heads supports 600*1800dpi.

The term DPI refers to the number of printed dots printed in 1 inch of print. The print resolution increases as the number of dots increases. 


Faster Speed

The UniPrint spiral socks printer is super fast. It features an advanced board system that improves printing speed by 30%.

In comparison to the previous scanning model, the spiral socks printer supports up to 15~30 seconds faster printing speed per print cycle. Spiral printer output 500pairs per day while scanning socks printer output is 400pairs.  (ps: the prices of each model are also different, consult UniPrint sales for more details).


Upgraded Roller Precision 

The UniPrint spiral socks printing machine features an advanced printing roller giving high precision control of 0.15mm. 

The printer features an auto motor-adjust printing roller. Simply click the button, and the printing roller will raise automatically.  

When it is in fittable distance from printing nozzles, click the “off” button again. 

Speaking of the old scanning model, we move the printing carriage from left to right. We have to cross-check if two sides of the printing roller are balanced. 

These steps are done manually. Until it’s balanced, it won’t be ready to print socks.  


Processes for Printing Polyester Socks

Printing polyester socks with a UniPrint socks printer is easy. 


Printing Process

The UniPrint Spiral socks printer features a stainless steel roller. Put your blank/white polyester socks onto the roller and start the printing process. The roller will roll 360-degree while the printer will print the socks. 

 The material of socks must be 100% polyester or have a high percentage of polyester.


Heating/Curing Process

 After printing, socks have to undergo the curing process. It helps ink adhere to the socks appropriately. A conveyor heater is used for this purpose. 

Socks are hooked from their toes and then heated at a temperature of 180-degree for 3 to 4 minutes.



Finished Socks

Now your socks are ready to deliver. You can make packing/sizing as per your customers’ requirements. 


Process for Printing Cotton Socks

Printing cotton socks is a little lengthy process. It involves the following steps.


It is the first step in the cotton socks printing process. In this process, you dip socks in the pretreatment solution (coating liquid). It helps the dye to fix color, get dyeing fastness, and maintain the clarity of printing.

Dewater Socks

Dewatering eliminates extra liquid coating from socks. An industrial dewatering machine is used for this process.

 Dry Socks

This process includes drying socks with the help of an industrial dryer. It ensures that the pretreatment coating is set on socks.

Print Socks

The printing process is the same whether for cotton socks or polyester socks. Nevertheless, the socks printing machine carries different inks when printing different materials of socks.  

Reactive ink is commonly used for cotton socks. CMYK are the basic 4 colors used commonly. However, to achieve a better effect on cotton socks, people use additional 4 colors (O R G B).

Heat Socks 

After printing, socks are heated at a temperature a little lower than 90-degree celsius. This process helps to settle down the printed ink on the surface of the socks.  

Steam Socks

This process ensures that socks have absorbed the printed design and ink precisely. Cotton socks are steamed at 102°C for 15 to 20 minutes. It is the color fixation process.

Cold + Hot Washing

After the steaming process, socks need cold and hot washing. First, socks are cold-washed for about 3 to 5 minutes, An antifouling agent and soap agents need to be added to the water. 

After cold washing, they are given hot washing at 100°C for additional 3-5 minutes. If there is floating ink in the water, socks need cold washing again. 

Once the water is clear enough, the washing process is done.

PS: When you do the last washing, you can add a color fixation agent and softener depending on customer needs.

Dewatering & Drying

After the washing step, printed cotton socks are dewatered and dried again with the help of a dewatering and drying machine. 

Generally, the temperature is set between 80 and 90°C for about half an hour. However, drying time might vary depending on how many socks you are drying together. 



Why Choose UniPrint?

State-of-the-art Printing Solutions

UniPrint provides you with the latest digital printing solutions. Whether you want to buy printers, inks, or related equipment like a heater, steamer, dewater, dryer or washer, you will receive a quality product.

On-Time Support 

UniPrint has concerns about your queries. We are available via phone, email, WeChat, and WhatsApp. You can seek our assistance for the installation and operation of printers as well. We are just one call away.


UniPrint is a trustworthy digital printing solution provider in China. You get a 1-year warranty on printers. However, it does not include the ink system and related spare parts. We offer a lifetime warranty on machine maintenance to our regular customers.

Timely Delivery

We deliver printers within 15 to 30 days. However, customized printing solutions might take more time. We pack machines in wooden boxes to prevent damage during transit. 

 So these are a few crucial things you must keep in mind when starting a custom socks business. 


Let’s Grow Together

Since custom socks are in demand, it is a lucrative business. If you are planning to start a socks printing business, UniPrint will be glad to help you out with its cutting-edge printing solutions. 

We believe in growing together. The UniPrint team will help you expand and achieve your long-term goals. 

Get in touch with us now. We will be pleased to assist you. We are just one call/WhatsApp away from you. Our representative will get in touch with you in no time and solve all your queries



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